How did you like this year’s World Cup overall – the performances of the teams, the organization, the fans? And did you find something extraordinary that impressed or amused you?
Sport is an extremely unifying force that can bring together people from different countries to share significant moment together. This year´s World Cup was no exception. It was a pleasure to witness such abundance of talent and determination from all the teams and incredible support from the fans. Russia was extremely successful in ensuring that the tournament unfolded flawlessly, however; the games did not fell short of surprises in the football pitch, as shown by Croatia´s, unexpected but well-deserved, win. We are looking forward to seeing Germany Back to win the World Cup again.
You have organized a public viewing in the Arabic House of Culture in Berlin. You not only invited high-ranking guests or officials to the Public Viewing – you opened your doors for the neighbours and their children, too. Is that common in Qatar?
It is part of the culture of Qatar and the identity of its citizens to open the country´s doors and welcome people from all over the world and from different walks of life. Qataris have an extremely strong sense of community and we are eager to share our history and culture with the world and, in turn, learn and enrich ourselves by interacting with people from different countries. The Arabic Cultural House – Der Divan is embodiment of this spirit, it is a meeting point though which Qatar wishes to be known and come closer to the community in Berlin.
How did you, your guests and neighbours enjoyed the football evenings?
It has been a true pleasure to extend Qatar´s hospitality to our friends and neighbours, spending multiple warm summer evenings sharing our common passion for football and thoroughly enjoying the games. I believe that all the participants felt welcomed and enjoyed sharing their expectations and impressions regarding the games while relaxing in the beautiful grounds of the Arabic Cultural House – Der Divan.
Qatar will host the next World Cup. With our charity organization we have been twice in Doha and have been impressed about friendliness and hospitality in the country. What can guests from all over the world expect in your country?
As Qatar will be the first among the countries in the Arab region to host the Football World Cup the expectations are high and Qatar is working steadily to deliver an exceptional tournament from all points of view and to represent all the Arabic region. Qatar is preparing to welcome visitors and fans from all over the world, offering an amazing tournament and a chance to experience the Qatari and the Arabic hospitality. The matches will take place in seven different cities in Qatar. Visitors can expect eight new and renovated stadiums, characterized by state-of-the-art designs and facilities.
Many people do not know Qatar, but have a negative opinion about due to one-sided coverage or “fake news” in media. How do you feel about and what do you like to tell them?
Everyone is welcome to visit us in Qatar and form their own opinion regarding the country. I believe that anyone, upon experiencing first-hand the reality of Qatar´s hospitality, traditions and values, will be convinced that certain opinions are circulated for the sole purpose of undermining Qatar in the region and abroad.
Many thanks for the interview.